Atlantic 10 Conference Championship
Location: Amherst, Mass. (UMass Track & Field Complex)
Team Scores (Through seven of 22 events): George Mason 54, Dayton 46, VCU 31, Rhode Island 30.5, UMass 27, Richmond 18, Fordham 17, La Salle 15, Saint Louis 11, Davidson 10, Duquesne 9, George Washington 4, Saint Joseph's 0.5
The short story: Redshirt freshman Kayla Merkel captured gold in the javelin and the defending champion Rams remained in the hunt for a second straight title in Day One of the 2019 Atlantic 10 Conference Outdoor Championships in Amherst, Mass.
THE STARTING LINE
- VCU, which is in search of fifth outdoor crown in five years, currently sits in third place after seven of 22 events with 31 points
- Merkel captured the javelin, VCU's first win of the championship meet, with a personal-best toss of 45.48 meters on her sixth and final attempt of the day. Any of Merkel's three best throws would have won the event
- Emily Mulhern kicked off the day for VCU with a second-place finish in the 10,000-meter run. The Ijamsville, Md. native clocked a season-best 34.40.53 to collect eight points for the VCU cause. The mark is just shy of Mulhern's personal-best of 34:35.46, which she turned her tenure at Virginia
- Junior Kara Lyles leaped to a third-place finish in the long jump with a mark of 5.73 meters. Sophomore Aliyah Newman and junior Khoi Banks also placed sixth and seventh, respectively, for the Black and Gold
VCU will resume its quest for an A-10 title on Sunday, May 5. Action will kick off at 10:30 a.m. at the UMass Track & Field Complex.